Forum Activity for @ferrator

Ferrator
@ferrator
02/17/20 08:57:07AM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Well crud and other sayings of a simular nature...looks like I stand corrected, huh?

However, I am a thumb, index, middle finger picker. That leaves out the thumb brace for me. More like resting the ring and pinky next to the fret board.

Ferrator
@ferrator
02/02/20 12:03:55PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

To Dusty's point: Aye, more mellow it is. Dull? THAT might also be come down to the 'how' of the way you play, eh? also, to Dusty. Watch some Jessica Comeau YouTubes, especially the close ups. I would swear that she does NOT have nails, but the sound is a bright as any I have heard.

"Dull" my furry tusche...pft

I also suggest looking into the fingerpicking discussions at this site. There have got to be as many ways to fingerpick as there are ways to make a curry.

But as to pulling up on the strings? I would be afraid there might be a chance of the string 'slapping' the frets if string was pulled hard enough.

Just for the heck of it, I went looking. Finally used the 'site search' for 'fingerpicking'. HAWT DOGGIES!!! My screen lit up like I was signalling the Mothership! Meet ya there! Looks like I will be doing a lot of reading of my own now.

So, Lisa? Are y'all completely cornfuzzled yet?


updated by @ferrator: 02/02/20 12:17:07PM
Ferrator
@ferrator
02/01/20 06:12:15PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yup, you got it. As to length, up to you and what works, as they say.

I have been ALL over the place. Rapiers that can slice veggies to just the barest bit of a nail that barely nips the string on the way by. The long ones can also tend to make the notes a lot 'sharper', while the shorter ones can make only a barely noticeable difference.

There is just NO objective answer to that. You have to come up with what works. And THAT means a lot of practice.

I have arrived at a place that has nails long enough to give the string a decent  "clip" on the way by. So much for length...

While it is a nice vanity point to have a point in the middle of the finger. I have found that (for me) it is best for my nails to be a bit off center. ~LOL~ It is a great conversation starter '...is there something wrong with your fingers...?'...

I would like to be able to dispense some Sage Wisdom here, but it is all going to come down to a single thing. Practice. Lot's and lot's of practice...

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/19/20 12:52:33PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@lisavb  I fingerpick. Exclusively. I was taught to play by fingerpicking. While playing chords and all, I have the habit of anchoring the ring finger on the treble string. But even though I to not use a noter, I use the side of my thumb for sliding on the treble. As a result, I have a gray to black stripe in the side of my thumb and a wee notch in the side of my thumbnail.

Ayup, I know what you mean, having nothing that NEEDS to be done and being able to be a couch potato. But yeah, it is a bit different when that is forced on you by the weather. Come summer, here in sunny Phoenix and the temps go over 110 for days, even a couple of weeks at a time, going outside is not usually one of the options available to us.

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/19/20 12:05:38PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@irene I understand what it is like to have your ability to get out and about hampered by the weather. Shouldn't be much longer though before you will be back church and making music! :) 

A Joyous noise, eh? :)

Here, in the desert, we have been having what passes for winter with temps at or below freezing. This is just NOT something we are prepared for.

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/19/20 12:00:35PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@irene  You are one good egg! It is a joy to swap posts with you! :)

30 harps? I have been considering building a harp! A smaller, travelling style, Troubador (?) type of folk harp. But in a studio apt. with no access to a decent workspace, I am at a loss at to how to do that, if at all. Any suggestions?

As it is I am still finishing a Kantele, but the lack of space is hampering that.

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/18/20 06:26:49PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Fess up Irene... How did YOU get all callous...er...get the callouses on your fingers?

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/18/20 11:52:07AM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Oh yeah, it IS harsh. But it is attributed to some hard core jazz musician. Sort of urban legend territory.

~LOL~ But I know about the callouses. Then there is the gray stripe on my left thumb. (That is my "noter" so to speak)

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/15/20 09:44:12AM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Just think of the nice callous you are going to have! I know I am still working on mine. ~L~ That and a nice stripe on the left thumb.

Beats the heck out of the most hardcore callous builder I ever heard of:

Heat up an iron skillet to around 400° then put your fingertips on it. Pretty nasty for several days, but it builds a pretty decent 'playing' callous...

Old jazz musician trick (alledgedly)

~cringe~

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/08/20 09:26:21AM
31 posts

Would like info on my new to me dulcimer.


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

~L~ Yeah, I saw that! No worries, I think a lot of us feel the same. When there is a real passion for playing, both the music and the instrument, there is always something new to learn...and a lot of practice.

Make sure to join and the Fingerpicking group/forum. Lot's of good people there. Just 'cause y'all don't JUST fingerpick! ~L~. Grow your nails or don't. How far up or down the fret board do you play?

Lot's of good people at FOTMD. This is one great site.

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/07/20 12:26:39PM
31 posts

Would like info on my new to me dulcimer.


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I have to admit to a bit of a bias. I was initially taught to play by fingerpicking. It is all I do. But then, I lack some of the needed coordination to use a pick. That and toe tapping for time keeping.

~L~ None of it matters when the instrument is sweet and the desire is 'there', eh?

Ferrator
@ferrator
01/07/20 12:15:00PM
31 posts

Would like info on my new to me dulcimer.


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I have to echo the others. That is one nice looking dulcimer! I really like the carving work in the strum hollow.

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/30/19 09:16:19AM
31 posts

Aeolus dulcimer?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I have to say, my dulcimer is a really sweet instrument. I didn't think it was all that rare. Thank you Dusty and Salt. Good advice! :)

 

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/29/19 10:56:35AM
31 posts

Intros and bridges


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I will see if I can get them and look them over. Thank you very much!

I have been working with one from Wayne Jiang.

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/28/19 04:48:40PM
31 posts

Aeolus dulcimer?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Excellent! Thank you for the tips :)

It has been close to 20 years since Dale and I saw one another. Too many things turned me away from keeping up with my playing, health being a big part of it. But I am back to my dulcimer now :) I am quite happy, but SO out of practice. I am pretty much a beginner again.

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/28/19 01:54:49PM
31 posts

Aeolus dulcimer?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Yes, but the point of contact is with Cynthia Smith through Aeolus. She taught me to play and did the inlays on my dulcimer. But if I need work on the dulcimer I will be needing to talk to Dale.

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/28/19 01:48:08PM
31 posts

Intros and bridges


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Wonderful! This is excellent stuff!

What got me thinking on this and spurred me on to ask was I had been trying playing some of Part B as an intro. (Usually just the last couple of bars).

When I first learned to play I was drilled on the idea of "keeping the left hand in a chord shape". Really good habit that one.

I am with Lois on the point of the books. If finances ever permit, it is a direction I would like to go.

I am curious, which 2 versions of Morning Has Broken are you working with Lois?

Thank you all so very much! :)

 


updated by @ferrator: 12/28/19 01:50:07PM
Ferrator
@ferrator
12/27/19 06:41:48PM
31 posts

Aeolus dulcimer?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Yes I do. But trying to get hold of Dale is proving as easy as looking for teeth on a chicken. Mine was made in 1988 so it is "aging in and mellowing" very well.

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/27/19 06:38:24PM
31 posts

Intros and bridges


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Is there an easy way to come up with a bridge or an intro?

For example, I have one of the Jessica Comeau books. Included is Scarborough Gaire. Now it is blatantly obvious that the version in the book and the one she plays are quite different. Granted, she is a pro and therefore, makes the big bucks. But is there a rule of thumb for doing that sort of thing?

Right, put in 3 zillion years of practice and all...

Ralph Vaughn Williams did something pretty incredible with Greensleeves: 

Ideas?

 

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/27/19 06:22:25PM
31 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I tried tying flies once. Damn things just will NOT hold still. It is as calming and Zen as herding cats.

Ferrator
@ferrator
12/27/19 06:08:40PM
31 posts

Aeolus dulcimer?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Has anyone heard of Aeolus dulcimers made by Dale E. Foye?

Ferrator
@ferrator
10/15/19 06:40:00PM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

As with all things this is taking time. And even now, I see places where I didn't get all of the old finish off and need to get back to sanding. I resist the idea of using a stripper since it would be just this one time project. But the craftsman in me demands I get this right. Especially since the back is some really nice mahogany.

But I have to say, I DO like the Tung Oil. It does take time to dry, but from what I am seeing so far, it is well worth the time.

Pics are not the best quality, but this is just an update.

 

 


Front in progress.jpg Front in progress.jpg - 23KB

updated by @ferrator: 10/15/19 06:51:38PM
Ferrator
@ferrator
10/05/19 06:06:36PM
31 posts

Care Advice Sought for 2 Really Old Instruments:


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Pictures?

Where in AZ?  I am in Phoenix.

I am quite interested in the care and feeding in the desert question also. I have a 30 year old dulcimer. I would be decimated if something bad were to happen.

But then, I have been here for over 20 years now. The only effect (maybe) has been a bit of drying of the wood and that has gotten a better tone if nothing else.


updated by @ferrator: 10/05/19 06:20:09PM
Ferrator
@ferrator
09/08/19 01:41:19PM
31 posts

Walnut Thomas with possum board


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Beautifully done! I have been and always shall be a sucker for walnut.

And now, for the newbie question. Please Sir, what is a possum board?

...oops, I found the discussions...

 


updated by @ferrator: 09/08/19 01:45:49PM
Ferrator
@ferrator
08/21/19 01:40:06PM
31 posts

Randy Wilkinson tab book for Elizabethan Music


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Oh well crud!

I tried the link and got the infamous 404 Not Found error.

Got that both on direct click on the link and C&P'ing into a new page..

Ferrator
@ferrator
08/20/19 07:06:32PM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thank you Ken, but I am leaning toward Ken..

Hmm, that needs explaining, huh?

Myself, I am a huge fan of oil finishes. I like tha 'hand rubbing' that goes along with it. Since the Tung Oil will harden. That is another thing in it's favor. So...it can take 2 days or so to dry. No problem. Add in being able to use stains, sounds good. Then, in looking at the oil, I found some put out by 
Watco. Watco and I are already good buddys.

Ferrator
@ferrator
08/17/19 06:42:50PM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Nice catch on the paper with the notes. I made that, and like everything with me, it is a bit more than 20 years old. It has also been in and out of that placement more times than I care to think about. I will double check that. Thank you Ma'am :)

Tung oil. Never heard of it. But it is something I will be looking into now. Deep gloss is nice, but not all the time. Does this "harden" at all? Also, how does it act/react with stains?

 

Ferrator
@ferrator
08/17/19 01:14:03PM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

There is going to be some manner of brass used in this project. That black piece where the stings run over the courses is plastic. Sure, a hard plastic, but I think brass would be a better option. This was not a high digit instrument. But with some careful consideration, it can become mighty fine. Just need to exercise the necessary care to make sure the brass is good and straight, no kinks allowed. A soft 'bow' maybe, but that is it.

Brass would be good at the tail, but wood would look better...decisions, decisions... Either way, there should be some "shaping" to get the piece to look right.

Ah, the strings. I have done a LOT of rooting about the net on that. I do believe I have the gauges now. It is also fairly apparent that the strings are indeed ball end guitar strings. There is a place I go for my dulcimer strings that can set me up with what I need. ~L~ At that point it is choosing the correct TYPE of string. One site I looked at likened the strings to gauges of piano wire.

As a retired machinist and tool maker, I know WD-40 quite well. But using it on a tuning peg in wood? Maybe a q-tip and daubing? But a goof tip. Not one I would have considered, but it sounds like a plan.

"Make a note about the note they are tuned..." Hoboy, done. After that, there is the world of confusion that goes into all of the alternate tunings. Is Draconian an type of tuning?

Then, after all that, clean the poor baby and have a look, eh?

There WILL be sanding and refinishing. This is something I enjoy quite a lot. There are some nasty looking marks on the edge of the face that need to be addressed. Short of the playing once the work is done, the wood working part of this is going to be one of if not THE best part of the project.

The more I look at this thing the more I am convinced that the "finish" is about as minimal as it gets. "Student" instrument was mentioned. Sounds about right to me. I am leaning toward a lacquer or shellac for the finish. Needs to be water based though as I do not have good ventilation and cannot access a spray booth. Yup, spray. ~L~ I do NOT have the arms to do a French rub.

To stain or not to stain...

I want to thank you all for the ideas and suggestions. I have never worked with an instrument before. Not a decent one. I can use ALL the help I can get.

 

Ferrator
@ferrator
08/16/19 04:31:36PM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Alright, here is the front and back...

Hoboy yeah...needs work


20190816_132243_resized.jpg 20190816_132243_resized.jpg - 1002KB

updated by @ferrator: 08/16/19 04:32:49PM
Ferrator
@ferrator
08/16/19 11:49:28AM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

~wow~

OK, let me see if I can address ALL of this! ~L~ Dang people! This has got to be about the friendliest group in Dodge!

Oh yes, I have seen Kantele' that are the size of the one in the photo. Is drooling allowed?

Full sized pics, I will work on that. File size kept being far too large.

Ken Hulme:

That is certainly a VERY uncommon way to build a kantele.  You may not -- in fact -- have a kantele, but rather some other form of zither/psaltery.  Can we see some less close-up photos of the instrument, please?  Say a quarter of the instrument in each photo. and then frame-filling pix of the top and back so we can see the whole instrument

Exactly why the name of this thread has the question mark. Maybe even a lap harp? Regardless, it is a sweet sounding instrument when it playing condition.

Lois Sprengnether Keel:

A computer search on Kantele was eye-opening.  It reminds me of the zithers and toys that had diagrams you insert under the strings to play a song.  Being eager to make music simply, I've fallen for some of those & even created some diagrams of my own.  This shows there is a whole Finnish musical tradition without the cheat sheets that probably inspired the commercial American instruments .

Just wish he hadn't allowed his microphone to pick up wind noise.

Oh, I know about the wind!

Good thoughts on the tuning key. I have also thought the same about the pegs. But then, removing them and knocking down the rust with some steel wool might render something of a "patina like" looking result.

Sanding it is. That are a few seriously nasty looking dings that the moisture and iron technique are not going to touch. But then, if the patina for the pegs work out, the coloring in the dinged area might lend a bit of "old" to the appearance.

Lois Sprengnether Keel:

I'm not "Finnished" with mine, but appreciate seeing a more musical and traditional version. 

Ooooh! PUNS! hehehee...be careful there. I too have been known to PUNish...


updated by @ferrator: 08/16/19 11:52:11AM
Ferrator
@ferrator
08/15/19 06:16:41PM
31 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I have had this for many years. When I got it, it was labelled as a Kantele. But now, after a lot of researching, i came to have my doubts since the back is enclosed. Doubts until I saw this:

in the forums here.

As you can see, she needs a bit of love given to her...

But I have had her since she was playable and the tone was wonderful. After 20 some odd years for the wood to dry and settle even more, I suspect the tone is going to be even better.

There are 15 strings, but I have a place to go to that I can get individual strings, when the time comes. But now, time for some other things, like getting a tuning key. That and a nice sanding down to smooth things out and get rid of the blemishing.

I have originally been thinking of a black finish along the lines of the East German zithers of the late 50's and early 60's. But on further consideration, something natural seems a better choice. Thoughts?

This also leaves me wondering just  what finish to use. Again, thoughts please?

I am no rookie when it comes to wood and working with it. Many moons ago, I was a cabinetmaker building specialized bookcases (specialized to fit a certain size of books). But this is a LONG ways from the kind of finishing that would be given to a fine instrument. I have already ruined a guitar with (I spit) polyurethane once. Long ago, but never forgotten.

This is something that is going to span some time, I know this and look forward to bringing  this instrument back to health and play-ability. Labor of true love here! sun

Any ideas?

Suggestions?

Things  TO  do?

Things to  AVOID  like the plague?


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updated by @ferrator: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM